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Contracts Assessment Form FAQ

Q.1 Whose name goes here?

The name of the Principal Investigator who will be the research account holder for the Project funding.

Q.2 Where can I find out my employment contract duration and status?

If your employment contract ends prior to the project end date please inform your Head of School of same.

If you are unsure of your employment contract end date and/or employment status, please contact the HR Service Centre at or by calling Ext. 3333.

Q.3 What is my affiliated school/TRI?

Most Principal Investigators are affiliated with a School or Area. For example, if you are affiliated with the Department of Botany, then you are affiliated with the School of Natural Sciences. However, if you are not affiliated with a school please see TRI in 4(i) and select Not Applicable for Q3.

Q.4 (i) What is a TRI or non-academic area?

Examples of TRIs or Trinity Research Institutes include: Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute (TBSI), Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices (CRANN), Trinity Long Room Hub (TLRH) and Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience (TCIN) and Trinity Translational Medicine Institute (TTMI). Examples of Non-Academic Areas include the Library, Science Gallery and Trinity Research and Innovation.

Q. 4 (ii) Where is my Project funding housed and what if the Project funding will be housed outside my affiliated school?

Each Project is allocated a specific project code and account by TCD's Financial Services Division (FSD). Each account is set up under a specific School, TRI or Area. If the Project funding is not going to be housed in your affiliated School, then you will need to seek approval of your Head of School and the Head of Area/TRI where the funding will be housed by completing the 'Housing Letter' and returning it to the Contracts Office -

Q.5 Who is the Project Funder?

The Project Funder, also known as a sponsor, will be named in your contract.

Q.6 What is the Project Thematic Area?

What category (in the dropdown menu) best describes the thematic elements of your research?

Q.7 How do I know what kind of research I am undertaking?

Basic - investigation and analysis focused on better or fuller understanding of a subject, phenomenon or basic law of nature.

Applied - the use of theory to develop technology or techniques.

Clinical - collecting evidence to determine the safety and efficacy of new medications and/or devices for treating disease.

Experimental - controlling certain variables and manipulating others to observe if the results of the experiment reflect that the manipulations directly caused the outcomes.

Q.8 What are the start and end dates of my project?

These should be clearly stated by the sponsor in your contract.

Q.9 (i) How can I calculate the TCD total amount?

The total project funding comprises all direct funding (cash), in-direct funding (sometimes referred to as overheads) and the monetary equivalent of any in-kind contribution (e.g., materials, equipment, etc.). The TCD's total Project Funding should be clearly stated in the budget included in the contract for the Project. Note this figure is exclusive of VAT.

Q.9 (ii) How do I calculate indirect costs?

Please see the TCD policy on indirect costs, also known as overheads. Please note research services overheads should be calculated at 40%. Principal Investigator time contribution should also be charged to the Project.

Q.9 (iii) What are in-kind costs?

Contributions given to the Project that have a monetary value, however are not cash payments. An in-kind contribution could be in the form of material or resource, e.g., use of equipment, office space, etc.

Q.10 and 11 How do I know if my Project is co-funded or requires matched funding?

Projects are co-funded if funding is provided for the same Project by more than one Funder. Matched funding applies to Projects where there is an obligation on TCD to provide funding of any type (i.e., cash or in-kind), in addition to the funding being provided by the Funder(s). Unless Head of School approval to provide matched funding was already obtained (e.g., when submitting a funding application) then Head of School approval (via email, copying the Contracts Office will be required before the contract for the Project is signed.

Q.12 What are staff member (excluding students) 'salary on-costs' and if they are not included in the Project budget how are these costs met?

In addition to gross salary the total 'on-costs' associated with the employment of a staff member on a fixed-term contract include (1) 10.75% employer's PRSI contribution and (2) 20% employer's pension contribution. Provision for redundancy costs should be included, expect where the Funder classifies redundancy costs to be ineligible - see here for more details. If these on-costs are not included in the Project budget they must be met by the School/TRI/Area etc.

Q.13 How do I determine where staff working on a Project are paid from?

For all staff employment queries contact the HR Service Centre at or by calling Ext. 3333.

Q.14 Where can I get current ethical approval for this Project?

Contact your school administrator for further details regarding ethical approval. Proof of current ethical approval for this Project will need to be provided to TCD Contracts Office where applicable.

Q.15 (a) and (c) Why am I being asked if my project involves Clinical Research?

If my project involves Clinical Research, I should satisfy myself that my project is appropriately insured. NB: TCD is not currently insured for clinical trials or medical malpractice. If a PI or Lead Project Member is covered under the CIS this will address this shortfall.

Q.15 (b) How can I tell if my project is a Clinical Trial?

See end of this document for the decision tree provided by the European Commission. Alternatively, click here for a downloadable PDF version.

Also see the HPRA for information.

Q.16 How do I know if subcontractors will be engaged on the Project? How is the subcontract issued?

If you propose to engage a third party to carry out part of TCD's research for a Project (i.e., a subcontractor to carry out analysis of samples or to create a website) or to engage a third party provide some other consultancy services/advice to TCD in respect of a Project, then a subcontract /consultancy service agreement will need to be put in place and procurement guidelines must be adhered to. The Contract Office will provide a suitable template agreement. If services to be rendered are greater than the value of EUR 1,500 then a subcontract must be put in place for further advice please see Procurement.

Q.17 How do I know what TCD's role in the Project is?

If the contract is solely awarded to TCD with no other recipients TCD is the Sole Awardee. If there are several other parties involved in the Project, as partners/collaborators/co-applicants then TCD is the Lead Collaborator.  If another party is Lead Collabora or for the Project then TCD is a Collaborator. If TCD is providing research services/consultancy then TCD is classified as a research services/consultancy provider.

Q.18 When is a collaboration agreement required?

Where TCD is the Lead Collaborator on a Project involving other parties, depending on the type of Project and/or the source of the Project funding a collaboration agreement/arrangement will need to be put in place with the other parties. The Contracts Office will advise on the type of collaboration agreement/arrangement required depending on the Project and roles of the parties.

Q.19 What are my obligations as PI in respect of adhering to the terms and conditions of the contract?

As PI, you are required to have read and undertake to comply with the contractual conditions applicable to the Project, including all the terms and conditions applicable to the Project (i.e., the funders terms and conditions, the terms and conditions of contract for the Project and any other contractual terms applicable to the Project (e.g., adherence to national guidelines, etc.).

Q.20 Where can I find the College policies and regulations?

College's Policy on Good Research Practice

College Finance Manual

Intellectual Property Policy

Data Protection

Academic Freedom

Ethics Policy

Guidelines on Managing Research Grants and Contracts

Innovation Alliance - Innovation & Industry Engagement - Principles and Policy

Policy and Procedure on Engaging Externally Contracted Service Providers

All other policies

Q.21 Where can I find the export control policies?

See the Licensing Unit at Department of Enterprise Jobs and Innovation

Q.22 Where can I find the data protection regulations?

Please see the TCD Information Compliance webpage.

Q.23 How would I know if there is conflict of interest?

If you feel one of your personal or business relationships may cause conflict of interest in the Project, or are uncertain if a conflict may arise, please email the TCD Technology Transfer Office. Please also see the TCD Conflict of Interest Policy in pp. 15-16 of the Good Research Practice Policy.

Q.24 Where can I find the Declaration? Why must I complete it?

See pages 27 - 28 of Good Research Practice Policy for Declaration of Interest Form